State aid: Commission launches urgent public consultation on availability of private short-term export-credit insurance capacity for exports in light of economic impact of coronavirus outbreak

The Commission has launched an urgent public consultation to assess the availability of private short-term export-credit insurance capacity for exports to all countries listed as “marketable risk countries” in the 2012 Short-term export-credit Communication. This follows the indication by several Member States that they expect a forthcoming global contraction of the private insurance market for exports to all countries due to the coronavirus outbreak. Export-credits enable foreign buyers of goods and/or services to defer payment. Deferred payment implies credit risk for the seller/exporter, against which they insure themselves, typically with the private insurers (so-called export credit insurance). According to the 2012 Short-term export-credit Communication, which is in force since 2013, trade within 27 EU Member States and nine OECD countries listed in its Annex with a maximum risk period of up to two years entails marketable risks and should, in principle, not be insured by the State or State supported insurers. The Commission’s State aid Temporary Framework adopted last week already makes it easier to demonstrate that public insurance is needed. In order to establish if public short-term export credit insurance should be made more widely available in light of the current crisis linked to the coronavirus outbreak, the Commission has launched today’s public consultation. Depending on the results of the consultation and taking into account the relevant economic indicators, the Commission then may decide to remove countries from the list of “marketable risk countries” as a temporary measure. In case of removal, short-term export-credit risks towards those countries would be considered as temporarily non-marketable and State insurers would, as a result, in principle be able to step in and provide insurance for such risks.